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services and a surge of combat vets from the iraq and afghanistan wars entering the system, the demand for v.a. health care services has increased dramatically in recent years. this bill provides $58.6 billion for v.a. discretionary funding, $2.3 billion over current funding. the bill also includes $52.5 billion in fy 2013 advanced appropriations for vets' medical care. one of the very few areas in which this bill provides an increase in funding is v.a. medical research, which is $72 million over the budget request to restore funding to the current level. with little room to maneuver on the v.a. side of the ledger, the vast majority of the savings in the bill comes from incrementing or defunding certain military construction projects. the bill provides $13.7 billion for military construction, $1 billion below the request. the milcon reductions in the bill are restricted to the active-duty components. the guard and reserve components, family housing, barrack and other accounts are fully funded at the president's request. every military construction project funded in this bill is authori
with troops serving in afghanistan yesterday. the soldiers admiral mullen talked with weren't asked about how a troop drawdown would affect them. they asked if they would get paid if the republicans forced the united states government to stop paying its bills. the region that has been rocked by violence and plagued by sue coyed bombers this month, they wondered how they would take care of the families if the checks stopped coming next month. let me read a little bit of that press story that came out yesterday. quote -- "half a world away from the capitol -- capitol hill deadlock -- the economy and debt crisis are weighing heavily on the u.s. troops in afghanistan. the top question among them is one a top u.s. military officer wouldn't answer: will we get paid?" end of quote. admiral mullen went on to say, "i don't know the teens that question, but either way, those soldiers" he said, "all of us must continue to work every day." mr. president, this is really unacceptable. a country as rich and powerful as ours, men and women with bombs going off around them, shouldn't worry about whether this
the president to wage war. we do so at a time when the united states is so engaged in wars in afghanistan and iraq and our national debt exceeds $14 trillion. in light of these circumstances and the lack of united states vital interests in in libya, i do not believe we should be intervening in a civil war there. american combat forces are so efficient at certain types of operations and are over the horizon technology is so potent that the use of the military instrument to right wrongs exists as a tremendous temptation for presidents. american intervention in libya did not come as a result of a disciplined assessment of our vital interests or an authorization debate in the congress. given all that is at stake in pakistan, afghanistan, iran, saudi arabia, egypt, syria, yemen and elsewhere in the islamic world, a rational strategic assessment would not devote sizable american military and economic resources to a civil war in libya. it is an expensive diversion that leaves the united states and our european allies with fewer assets to respond to other contingencies. under the constitution, it
, reduced spending on the wars in afghanistan and iraq and through targeted cuts to mandatory spending. it doesn't raise taxes and it doesn't touch medicare, medicaid or social security. again, this is not a perfect plan. i have been on the floor many times in favor of a balanced package that includes cuts to spending, domestic, defense and mandatory, but also includes increased revenues. the reid princess plan doesn't e those goals -- the reid plan doesn't achieve those goals but i hope we will get there eventually. this is not a proposal i would have written, but i'm one of more than 100 members of the senate and more than 535 members of congress, and i don't get everything i want. none of us here in congress get everything we want. that's the nature of compromise. that's the nature of democracy, and that's why the framers of the constitution created checks and balances in government. that's why they created two chambers in congress and three branches of government, and when you're a leader in government, you just don't have the luxury of drawing a line in the sand and walking away.
of the war in afghanistan, which is what we're going to spend over the next four years? now there is a good cut that we ought to make. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from tennessee rise? >> ask unanimous consent to address the house. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. roe: thank you, madam speaker. i rise today to recognize a true american hero, private first class joe immediate. private class meed was a member of mike company third battalion, 26th marines. he died in vietnam when his battalion was fightin while carrng a wounded comrade to a wounded helicopter, he stepped on a land mine and was killed. he was on a -- he was only 19 at the time. in recognition of his valor he was awarded the silver star. dwayne crawford, his former commanding officer who recently founded a scholarship in his officer, had these words to say about joe's actions. with total disregard for his own life, he continually exposed himself to danger by administering first aid to his wounded comrades. offering them comforting words and helping them to me
savings on the mandatory side and savings from winding down the war in iraq and afghanistan. these are savings that cbo scores of about a trillion dollars, that cbo scoring them at a trillion dollars. now we know some republicans will quibble over the savings but they have no leg to stand on. though war is the second-biggest policy driver of the deficit after the bush tax cuts. if conducting the war ads to the debt, it is undeniable winding down the war deliver savings. the administration tells us with the wind down their putting in place in the iraq and afghanistan, they can prosecute the war on about $630 billion over the next decade. cbo, however, assumes 1.67 trillion in war funding for 2021. by adopting the administration's lower number, we can save over a trillion. we know the republicans agree with this because they included the exact same savings in the wrong and budget that passed the house. i never criticized such accounting then and it's hard to see how they could do so now. last, senator reid's proposal allows a joint committee that has the potential to achieve e
or afghanistan. at one point the c.i.a. director, leon panetta, speculated that if osama bin laden had been captured alive, he would have been sent to guantanamo. over time, it became clear that the administration did not have a policy in place that could address this circumstance. and so without a straight answer, we were left in the dark on how this administration would handle an enemy combatant captured overseas. finally after waiting 18 months, i think we have our answer. as was disclosed yesterday, he has been in military custody for months during which time he has been interrogated by various law enforcement agencies. however, now he has been read his miranda rights. this is a somalian terrorist captured overseas has now been read his miranda rights. why? why? why is a man who is a known terrorist and member of the united states -- and enemy of the united states being afforded the protections of an american citizen? and now he is in the hands of civilian authorities and will be given all the rights according to a u.s. citizen in a civilian court. it is truly astonishing that this admi
on a firing line somewhere in afghanistan realizing today could be their last day on this earth so america can live to see another day. that's how serious the consequences are. so, mr. president, i would suggest that instead of being paralyzed by our analysis of where we differ, let's become analysis of where we find common ground and we do on not raising the debt ceiling. we know we should raise it. we know we can find up to $2.8 trillion, and hopefully more, in cuts in the deficit and spending over time. we know for a fact we have to extend the debt ceiling to some point in time. and if it's passed -- past the presidential election of 2012, let's ensure that each body in regular order can vote on a constitutional amendment to balance the budget. which leaves us with one difference and that difference is what is the enforcement mechanism on the $1.8 trillion cut that the joint committee, equally divided, is supposed to come on? i submit we can find the common ground to find the silver bullet that causes that to happen. and i would encourage all of us to forget now where we differ, to recogniz
in afghanistan in a strategy of nation building that is not the best use of our national security, not the best use of our soldiers who are there to fight for our national security, but those are decisions that were made in the past. and we must pay the bill on those decisions even when i disagreed with them. and then we need to put together a plan that takes on our deficit and our debt, and that plan has to put all of the options on the table. some of my colleagues across the aisle, they said, well, we want to protect the tax spending programs where we've tucked in tax provisions for the wealthy and the well connected. we want to defend those. we don't want to touch those for the best-off americans. but we want to cut the programs for working americans. that is unacceptable. we have seen enormous increase in the disparity between the wages and welfare of our citizens in general and the best-off becoming much, much wealthier proportionately. we can't continue to say that we're going to protect the well-connected while attacking working families. that's not the america we want to build. we want
, for example, thel war in afghanistan are committing the united states of america to spending $10 billion a monthhis em gomen in uniform. cin members of a family who are ovei there waging this war. they voted for that. money president obama has said toe m them, the bill is coming in for the war inre afghanistan. sayine i have to very money to pay for it. fo fo houseeb and senate who voted for the war not to understand say wr won't pay the bills.nistan. we want allow you, mr. president to sustain our military force io afghanistan. that is literally what we'ren do taught about here in this debate. the american people are turning to come to understand it because when you first ask a person, tht obvious answer is no, are you crazy, senator? by what i want one of them in this country? we need more less stack, notts e more. when you go to the point ofjusto explaining that this is to pay d for things we authority -- that's the authority incurred, it isn't just a wage of war. 65a it is a debt incurred to pay fot medicare. we staaidl a to 65-year-olds acr america, you get medicare that will be the
to continue going into another country's civil war when we have such commitments in afghanistan and iraq. when we are overdeploying our troops, when we are spending money that we are having to borrow, when we are taking the lion's share of this responsibility for our allies. many of us think that we shouldn't be adding another country where it's supposed to be a support function, but we all know that that is what leads to something more and then something more, and i thought senator lugar said it very well; then you have the aftermath of the end of a civil war and the responsibilities for that so this is not the time, in my opinion, to be giving that kind of authority to the president, but above that, above that, we are here because there is a crisis pop which i think -- upon which i think we have a united view of the goal, and that is to put our fiscal house in order so we're not united in the united states senate about how to do it so let's have that debate this week. let's have that debate that says we should be spending more or we should be spending less, that we should be taxing more or t
benefits to veterans or paychecks for the men and women wearing our country's uniform in afghanistan and iraq. i want to be clear. a default will injure america's reputation throughout the world. it will weaken faith in the world's most respected financial power, leaving our country's financial leadership in doubt. simply put, defaulting on the debt could trigger an economic collapse of historic proportion. that's why i plead with our republican colleagues, join us without delay in adopting majority leader reid's plan. senator reid's plan will provide certainty for middle-class americans and to the markets because it will provide stability, that's what we need right now through 2013. mr. president, this plan isn't perfect. in fact, including me, believe it should include revenues. it doesn't but that's why it's called a compromise. and after we adopt this plan and step back from the brink, we need to work on a balanced approach to get our country back on sound economic footing, and it means asking the wealthiest among to us pay their fair share. i was one of those who was very fortun
these savings from withdrawing from iraq and afghanistan. and essential education, job creation, housing, and environmental investments where america's economic recovery and for our strong economic future would be protected from the slashing cuts proposed by the house republicans. the irony is, republican leaders previously have backed all the spending reductions called for in leader reid's plan. now, i don't agree -- and i suspect all of us don't agree with all aspects of this proposed solution. but we're not going to have 100 solutions on this floor. we're going to have one that we can vote on. i wish this would have included new revenue, especially by ending such costly and outdated tax benefits as those still enjoyed by the biggest oil companies to help us pay off our debt even more quickly. i'd like to help pay for the debt incurred by the inexcusable earlier decisions to enter two wars without paying for them. and i continue to believe the surcharge for the wealthiest would mean that they would pay more of their fair share after so many years of tax cuts that have tilted far more t
to go to for jihadists and afghanistan, iran, excuse me, afghanistan, iraq, pakistan or yemen but as many as two dozen muslim americans and al-shabaab with many cases trained by al qaeda leaders remain unaccounted for. the committee has found that all chabad related federal prosecutions for funding, recruiting and attempting to join al-shabaab are the largest number and most significant upward trend in the terror cases filed for the justice department over the past two years. least 38 cases have been unsealed since 2009. minnesota, ohio, california, new jersey, new york, illinois, alabama, virginia and texas three al-shabaab is recruiting inside american mosques and disalle communities like minneapolis and san diego. according to the justice department. this month and also of recruiter pleaded guilty to a recording a large group of muslims from minneapolis at mosques and without any known protest moscow's leaders. a top also leader in somalia supervised this recruiting. one minnesota recruited was a suicide bomber whose 2008 attack on northern somalia send shock waves of alarm
assistance force, isaf, and u.s. forces afghanistan. the president expressed his full confidence in general allen as he begins this important assignment and that he said he looks forward to working closely with him. and with that i will take your questions. >> i want to follow-up on something the president said. he claimed to call speaker boehner and the other leaders after the house vote to resume meetings here, is that right? should we respect resumption a daily meeting? >> no, i think the president will call speaker boehner, based on what he said. he will call the leaders and arrange for a time for a meeting to happen here at the white house. is not a series of meetings budget sometime in the next few days. >> he also made note at the end there that is in progress or agreement with the concept of six or seven senators, how is the white house expects what this again is think to have an impact on the house republican? >> the news from the gang of six/seven italy a significant because it dramatized and reinforces the fact that the only way to deal a significant deficit reduction bill is to
proposal. why? well, they say that the savings from winding down the wars in iraq and afghanistan don't count. specifically, they say that these savings are -- quote -- "a widely ridiculed accounting gimmick that breeds cynicism." unquote. yet all but three of the 43 senators who signed this letter voted for the ryan budget on may 25 this year. that budget counted the same drawdowns as almost identical in savings. so those savings were legitimate enough to secure their support for the ryan budget but not legitimate enough to secure their support for leader reid's debt ceiling compromise. and here we are on the precipice, and suddenly they've done a 180-degree turn. either these savings count or they don't. you can't have it both ways. so we are proposing exactly what republicans have been saying that they want. yet instead of accepting this deal, they're using what precious time we have left to push forward with their agenda, and it's not even their agenda. it's the tea party agenda. their radical agenda is a wolf in sheep's clothing. last night we voted down speaker boehner's plan wh
to the president of the united states, as an example, we want you to continue to wage war in afghanistan at the cost of $10 billion a month, this president knows that he will have to borrow about $4 billion a month to meet that congressional appropriation. you see, we borrow about 40 cents for every dollar we spend. similarly, when it comes to the payments that we make to our veterans, who are disabled, we have promised them we will pay you, because you served our country and you lost a limb or you were injured and we will compensate you for that loss for the rest of your life. we need in making that commitment that we're also making a commitment to borrow the money necessary to do it. so periodically a president will come to congress and say, i understand our obligations which you have sent to me and i have approved, and now i ask you to extend my authority to borrow the money to meet those obligations. that has happened 89 times since 1939. since we passed this law, presidents of both parties have come to congress and asked for that authority. and aceman as i mentioned, not d congress
's why. how many wars are we fighting now? let's name them. afghanistan, iraq, pakistan, libya, and soon as mr. leon panetta says, we'll be fighting in iran. we have military operations all over the middle east. why can't we divert some of those funds, cut some of those wars and not cut social security because social security never impacted on our debt. social security was funded all along so why are we cutting social security? >> guest: well, let me just assure you we are not going to cut social security, okay? i think there might be efforts in the house to cut social security, and it might possibly pass, although i certainly know that the cut cap and whatever it's called won't pass because it requires a two-thirds vote and you need 50 democrats to vote for it, and i don't believe we'll have 50 democrats to vote for it, but i guarantee you if any measure passed the house of social security, it would not be taken up in the senate, and if it did, i believe the president would veto it. you know, you're a retiree, paid into social security, all of your working life, and you deserve to conti
with afghanistan, and over the years the number has gone up steadily. in the first few years in the strikes of 2,042,007 they're just a handful and then we see it going up in 2010. the obama administration rising at a policy never fully publicly articulated. 118 strikes last year and 45 so far this year. the pakistanis said a couple of months ago that they wanted him stopped them stopped and they ordered the cia out in their base in pakistan were some of the strikes are being launched. by my reckoning there is than a dozen since then. so has this been done like the enlightened raid against the will of the pakistan government? put the whole thing in a different legal contextualization. we don't know that for sure but we know the americans are defensive about in last month for example john brennan tried to relay concerns he took to new targeting procedure and he said that in the past year there hasn't been a single collateral death because of the exceptional proficiency precision of the capabilities we have been able to develop. in other words because they have been checking much more carefully th
on what i think is a classic american problem. i mean, we're not talking about the war in afghanistan, we're not talking about raising the debt ceiling. i grant that. but we are talking about something, which is profoundly troubling and disturbing to millions of americans. and it's also necessary. i mean, i thought we were going to do was clear problems here. and 10 years ago the telephone entity came to us two essences for clear problems because they make us look bad if we don't end there you can trust us to do it and they did it. so while i am saying is we are going to stick with this. the sec stated yesterday is now seeking comment on third party billing and i appreciate that. and don't they have settlements, the ftc, but that is all stuff that is already john and also as a mission of guilt. if you settle something, it's a mission of guilt. i'm not a lawyer. i want you to know that, but that's the way i read it. so anyway, in the near future, i plan to introduce working with colleagues from both sides of the aisle, legislation that will put a staff to this because i simply cannot find
with bills and insurance companies. soldiers, in too many cases returning from iraq and afghanistan, are facing even greater challenges in the working market. i was at youngstown university talking, there are programs there, there's a group through magnet in youngstown in northeast ohio about putting -- getting -- helping soldiers and sailors and marines leaving the service, integrating into the classroom and helping them find jobs in that region, someplace we've fallen woefully short. manufacturing, which was moving along steadily earlier this year, we had seen 12, 13, 14, 15 months of job growth in manufacturing, not enough job growth but some, that's even slowing down. steps taken through the auto rescue and other things we did in the last couple of years dealing with this terrible, terrible recession created in 2007 and 2008 the auto rescue saved millions -- auto rescue and other efforts saved millions of americans from joining the unemployment rolls and we're seeing a better auto industry, an auto industry coming back, especially in places like defiance and toledo and northwood
about fraud in afghanistan, iraq, pakistan, and now the congress wants us, after giving away our jobs, not fair trade, free trade agreements -- now they want to go back and give them away with korea. i cannot believe the direction that this country has gone in. we keep talking about corporate tax rates. that is the key word. "rate." they are not paying 35%. they are paying 4%, 6%, 9%, and i am making up the difference. the irs is after a relative of mine who lost their job. they owe them $5,000. karzei and his brother have walked off with billions of dollars and our congress cannot seem to stop it. guest: well, there is a lot there. obviously, a lot of these countries, and it is very disappointing to see fraud and hopefully over time it will go down, i do not want to make any excuses for it because there are no excuses for that activity. a lot of these countries do not have the same developed a rule of law that we have over here. even in our country, there have been instances of fraud and bribery and things like that. there were huge problems in its new jersey and in the past. in illi
american problem. we are not talking about the war in afghanistan or raising the debt ceiling i grant that. but we are talking about something which is profoundly troubling and disturbing to millions of americans and it is also on necessary. i thought what we were meant to do is try to clear up problems here, and ten years ago they came to us and said we will clear of the problems because they make us look bad if we don't and therefore you could trust us to do it and they did so all i'm saying is we are going to stick with this. the sec stated yesterday it is seeking comment on whether a band third party billing appreciate that and they settle things, the have settlements and the ftc and that is stuff that is already done and is the mission of guilt. general madigan i want you to know that that's the way i read at the rate in the near future i plan to introduce working with colleagues on both sides of the aisle. the legislation that would put a stop to this because i simply cannot find any grain of sense to us having to have a hearing like this and have -- i'm sorry you haven't got any eno
currently we have soldiers fighting in afghanistan and people don't seem to forget that. i would not say any prime minister is not fighting for the right people. continues to fight for the right people. >> how would any of those prime ministers ask as editor or chief executive how often or would they ever ask you not to publish a story? would they ask you to spike a story? would that happen? >> i can't remember an occasion of prime minister asked that. >> politicians generally do that? >> no. i can remember many occasions when a cabinet minister or politician or prime minister was very unhappy with stories we were running and -- not that they would ask us not to. >> if they had you would have been interested anyway? >> if the story was true and accurate, no reason for a prime minister -- that is why we have a free press. >> final question. still a feeling that in some way you had a close relationship with the prime minister. the allegation seems to be is no different -- the benefit of what people need to see. you have a close relationship with the prime minister. that was helpful to him and
and afghanistan, saving $1 trillion in the process. our troops in the middle east deserve our admiration and praise for so successfully carrying out their missions. we must, however, continue to press for a strategy that will bring our troops home as soon as we safely can. the reid deficit plan would find an additional $40 billion in savings by cutting fraud and abuse in tax compliance and a number of non-defense federal programs and $60 billion in other savings, including cutting unnecessary spending on agricultural subsidies and auctioning off electromagnetic spectrum that the government currently holds. finally, by cutting the government by over $2 trillion, we'll have to borrow less money than anticipated and that will save an additional $400 million -- sorry, $400 billion in projected interest costs. in total, the senate democratic plan on which we will vote would cut the deficits by $2.7 trillion over the next ten years. while senator reid's proposal would not address the tax gimmicks and loopholes throughout our tax code that help favor the well-connected, this omission does not m
raging abroad in iraq and afghanistan, also unpaid for. and a new entitlement program passed in the past congress unpaid for. and a wall street that instead of being a free market was a free-for-all market. you put that all together and that's what we're coming out of. so i'm wondering, you know, your answer to me suggests that there isn't anymore monetary policy that is going to come forward that could in essence seek a more faster, more robust recovery with a greater job growth? >> well, as i said in my, in my testimony, we, given that there's a lot of uncertainty how the economy will evolve, we have to keep all options, both for tightening and for easing on the table. we're doing that. but, again, we are already providing an exceptional amount of accommodation and, as you know, recovery is still pretty slow. >> now i want to turn to the question of the debt ceiling. i know you discussed that quite a bit. i find it interesting under president bush's years, he raised the debt ceiling to the tune of about $5.4 trillion, during his period of time. i didn't hear the same comments then that
afghanistan and iraq is just not credible. we don't know what the obstacles are going to be in afghanistan and possibly iraq. we also don't know what we might have to do in the middle east going forward. afghanistan is not settled, mr. president, and we have to have a certain level of stability on the ground in afghanistan or we will have wasted the billions that we have already spent and the lives of our military personnel in afghanistan because it will go back to the way it was before, a center for terrorism that will come to our country or can come to our country. it did once already and we have been over there to try to wipe out al qaeda and the taliban, which has been in league with al qaeda. we have been over there losing american lives and spending american taxpayer dollars to protect our country from another 9/11. to say that we're going to cut $1 trillion in the future over the next ten years when we aren't placing the emphasis on what are the conditions on the ground is not sound policy and it's certainly not sound national security policy. so that's illusory. and then the other
voting, for example, on the war in afghanistan, they are committing the united states of america to spending spending $10 billion a month in defense of our men and women in uniform, members of our family who are over there waging this war. they voted for that. now president obama has said to them the bill's coming in for the war in afghanistan, i have to borrow money to pay for it. and these same members of congress, house and senate, who voted for the war in afghanistan are now saying we won't pay the bills, we won't extend the debt ceiling, we won't allow you, mr. president, to borrow the money to sustain our military forces in afghanistan. that is literally what we're talking about here in this debate. the american people are starting to come to understand it because when you first ask a person do you want to extend the debt ceiling, the obvious answer is no, are you crazy, senator? why would i want more debt in this country? we need less debt, not more. don't you get it? understandably, that's the public reaction, but when you go to the point of explaining that this is to pay
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